Now that the Lions are in the playoffs, there are a lot of scenarios that we can go through to dream of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season. For all of those folks that feel this is an impossible dream, you need to think again.
In 1997 the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl as a wild card team. Since that time it has also been accomplished by the Baltimore Ravens (2000), Pittsburgh Steelers (2005), New York Giants (2007), and Green Bay Packers (2010). Those years are the league years, not the actual date they won the Super Bowl. The main point is that in the last fourteen seasons a wild card team has won the Super Bowl five times. In 1999 the Tennesee Titans made it to the Super Bowl but lost to the St. Louis Rams.
Our Detroit Lions find themselves in the position to make NFL history. If they can win the Super Bowl, it will be the first time that wild card teams have won the Lombardi Trophy in two consecutive seasons. Le's look at my favorite scenario where this can happen.
Since the final week of the NFL season remains to be played, the final seeding for the NFC playoff bracket has yet to be determined. My hope is that it will play out in such a way that the Lions get the fifth seed in the NFC. This can be assured by a Lions victory over Green Bay in the final game of the season.
If the Lions get the fifth seed, they will play the NFC East Champion (fourth seed) in the first round of the playoffs and let Atlanta play against the third seed. My hope is that the Saints will end up as the third seed. That allows the Lions to avoid them in the first two rounds.
So in week one of the NFC playoffs we would have...
Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants
Obviously, I would like to see the Lions put a whipping on whichever team comes out of the NFC East. They are capable of beating either the Giants or the Cowboys soundly.
The Falcons are unhappy about the Saints running up the score on them this past week. I am rooting for the Falcons to put together a big game and find a way to knock off the Saints in the first round. Since the Saints have won the last two meetings, the Falcons are due.
In the second round of the NFC playoffs the games would be...
Detroit Lions vs San Francisco 49ers
Atlanta Falcons vs Green Bay Packers
I want this matchup for pure revenge factor. The 49ers have not been as good since Frank Gore has been hurt and I think the Lions can play with a lot more poise and better execution that what we displayed the last time we played them. The Lions win and Jim Harbaugh refuses to shake the hand of Jim Schwartz after the game.
In the other contest, the Green Bay Packers would continue to abuse the Falcons as they have the last two times they have played. However, the Packers get beat up in this game and lose Aaron Rogers to a concussion late in the game.
This makes the NFC Championship game
Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers
The NFC North has now dominated the NFC playoffs by sending both teams to the conference championship for the second year in a row, and five teams in the last three seasons. The Packers are forced to play without starting quarterback Aaron Rogers and top receiver Greg Jennings. This results in a much less potent Packers offense and the Lions simply outscore the Packers to win the NFC Championship and a spot in the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.
In the Super Bowl, I do not care who the AFC sends. The Lions can beat any AFC team. I would love to see the Lions take out the New England Patriots just to have the prestige of doing so, but I think the porous Pats defense will betray them and they will not make it to the Super Bowl. My bet is on the Baltimore Ravens to make it to the Super Bowl. In this game, the Lions simply light up the vaunted Ravens defense like the Chargers did.
Sure, this is unlikely but we all need to have dreams. Do you believe in miracles?